Archive for the ‘corruption’ Category

We knew for some time that this moment was coming, although perhaps he is going to be luckier that it seemed before.

THE judicial trail is closing in on France’s former president, Jacques Chirac. On Thursday July 19th a judge investigating a fake jobs scheme that allegedly benefited members of the ruling party (during Mr Chirac’s time as mayor of Paris) interviewed him as a “material witness”, meaning he was allowed to have a lawyer present and that he could, at a later stage, become the subject of a formal investigation.

The fake-jobs case is being led by Alain Philibeaux, a judge in Nanterre. Alain Juppé, Mr Chirac’s right-hand man when he was mayor from 1977-95, was convicted of political corruption in the same case in 2004. On Thursday Mr Chirac wrote in Le Monde that he was “ready to testify…in good faith”, and that he would tell investigators that the legality of party financing had been unclear for much of the time that he ran Paris. Mr Chirac may also have to testify in another case, led by Xavière Simeoni, a judge in Paris, also concerning fake jobs at the Paris town hall.

Mr Chirac’s presidential immunity expired in June and he faces a plethora of legal headaches. His lawyer, Jean Veil, argues that France’s constitution states that “The president of the republic shall incur no liability by reason of acts carried out in this official capacity.” In other words, Mr Chirac will co-operate with judicial investigations into periods before he became president in 1995, but not after. This decision, Mr Veil said, was “absolutely definitive”.

That leaves him open to questioning over the earlier fake-jobs case. But the claimed immunity would probably prevent his being mired in investigations into a controversial and messy plot known as the “Clearstream affair” which concerns alleged attempts to smear certain politicians by claiming (falsely) that they profited illegally from an arms deal in 1991.

Although Mr Chirac may avoid the Clearstream investigation his last prime minister, Dominique de Villepin, has not been so lucky. He has been summoned to meet two investigating judges on July 27th who may put him under formal investigation.

French political scandal | Jacques in the box | Economist.com

According to Le Monde, Chirac’s lawyer has said his statement has been a “calm and polite” one:

“Vous avez observé que c’est une audition qui dans la pratique judiciaire est relativement courte, elle s’est passée dans la sérénité, la courtoisie, a déclaré son avocat Me Jean Veil. L’ancien président de la République a été entendu en tant que “témoin assisté”, intermédiaire entre le mis en examen et le simple témoin. Ce statut permet à une personne d’être assistée de son avocat mais n’implique pas de poursuites.

 What did they expect? That Chirac was going to bite his nails? To shout at Judges? To insult them? Of course not, that would have been nearly as admitting he was responsible.

Le Monde also publishes an article written by Chirac, about the parties’ financing in France. Basically he considers that the political parties have adapted themselves to the evolution from a system where no regulation existed about their financing to another one in which it is ruled by law. He considers that, being the man who wanted to break with the past and who wanted to guarantee the transparency of the public accounts, the accusations against him are not very rational. He also points out that the cases in which someone has taken public money for personal interests, have been not very common and have ended punished for that.

Saint Jacques Chirac, then.

Of course, and I am Muhammad Ali. The fact that there are very few sentenced does not mean the corruption is not great. Normally the politicians -and in general all corrupt people- are bright enough -or their lawyers- not to leave trails or, if they do that, normally is so vague is practically impossible to detect them.

Related posts:

The last French scandal.

Miterrand let the Rwandan genocide happen because he feared Anglo-Saxon influence! -Clearstream investigation goes on.

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This is also a roundup, but a very important one -this is not funny at all-:

  1. About the Guadalajara’s fire (in which there were killed 11 firefighters): “The report, 110 sheets, made by an expert engineer, considers that the tragedy was a a very grave chain of negligences. In 13 points, it summs up the errors and the lack of coordination, before, during and after the tragedy: from the lack of preventive measures to the lapse of time (16 minutes) to activate the first firefighters’ equipements. The document considers that the firefighting in the area is faulty, irregular and chaotic and asks why the victims were sent to an area, totally unknown for them, in the worst moment and with the worst weather conditions”.”Also, there are new tapes which have been realeased from June 17th 2005 -where the fire happened-, in which it is shown the lack of extintion measures, the existing lack of coordination and the time (more than 10 hours) that the victims’ relatives had to wait for some kind of official communication of what had happened”.
  2. You know I have been writing about the Spanish UN peacekeepers/soldiers killed in Lebanon. Well, Zapatero (Spanish PM) told the father of the of the soldiers in the funeral: “What a pity! He had gone to Lebanon to buy himself a car, hadn’t he?“. Imagine the expression of the father’s soldier. And imagine mine when I read it.smile_baringteeth
  3.  The ex-Delegate of the Government in Catalonia -Eduard Planells, who has now a wonderful job at National Telecommunications Commision– has been detained in an operation against the Russian Mob in Spain. Also Eduard Figuerola, the General  Subdirector of Industrial Policy of the Generalitat (Catalan Government) has been fired after been discovered he had child porn.. From El Cerrajero. Don’t know if the latter was caught in the last “Against child porn operation”.
  4. Multinational Merck is going to change Barcelona for Madrid as its social address. This has enraged the Catalan nationalists who consider that Spain “is much too centralised“. Hehehe, imagine for example: Health care: EVERY DAMNED PART of it is a competence of the Autonomous Community. Education is also a competence -mainly- of the Auonomous Community -so you can see in the text books things like “Castilla y León had a relationship with the Romans“, when Castilla y León is a kingdom in the Reconquest and during Roman dominion it was under the same province: Lusitania, of the three that Romans made here (the other were Tarraconensis and Baetica). The Generalitat has passed a law creating a self-Tax Agency which will make in not a very distant future, everything related to taxes. Yeah, of course, very centralised. The problem is that a lot of people is beginning to leave Catalonia thanks to the pressure of the nationalists. And that hurts.
  5. After the invention of the Little Red Star -that only thinking about it, makes me shiver-, the young Spanish Socialists ask for the legalization of the euthanasia and the vote at 16 years-old. About euthanasia, I’m totally opposed: it cannot be undone. About the vote at 16: if we have so many idiot voters, just have some more, totally influenced by the Education for Citizenship -anti-militar, pro-homosexual -in the worst sense of the world-, pro-Socialist, pro-Alliance of Civilizations, etc-.
  6. Vice-President De La Vega has asked MSM not to informe about what they know if it has something to do with ETA. Yeah, it’s much better to have everything under the blanket, specially if we consider that French PM Sarkozy already has the ETA-Spanish Government negotiation’s papers. Oh and if someone thinks he is going to be a good guy and denounce PM Zapatero for the contents of those papers, just read this post by Mike -really good blogger 😀 – and then think again. No, he is just going to use it in the EU negotiations against Zapatero… sooo, against Spain.
  7. Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas: inquired on corruption charges. They -and other famous people- have created a lot of societies
  8. to whiten funds from dubious procedence.

    About Ibiza I will write later, it’s very grave what it’s happening after the fuel from “Don Pedro” -a ship- began polluting all the sea.

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Well, that is what the declassified French documents say:

The former French president François Mitterrand supported the perpetrators of the 1994 Rwandan genocide despite clear warnings that mass killings of the Tutsi population were being orchestrated, according to declassified French documents.

The publication of the documents in today’s Le Monde for the first time confirms long-held suspicions against France. The previously secret diplomatic telegrams and government memos also suggest the late French president was obsessed with the danger of “Anglo-Saxon” influence gripping Rwanda. In three months from April 1994, at least a million Rwandans – mainly Tutsis – were systematically slaughtered in killings engineered by the Hutu regime to exterminate its ethnic rivals and repel the Uganda-trained Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF).

Barcepundit (English edition)

So, again, happens the same: how many MSM have published this in bold letters?

What would have happened if any other country -specially any Anglo-Saxon one- would have made this?

Also there’s the role played by Chirac in Iraq h/t Extreme Centre.org, persuading Saddam that he should not give the concessions which could have saved his regime. Saddam was sure that both the French -mainly- and the Russians were going to save him in the last hour. [My translation, original in French. If you understand French you MUST read it]. An excerpt:

The reality was that Chirac stabbed in the back of his allies, it was a treason to Iraqi people and all their hopes of development which are a common ground on every people going out of a dictatorship, that encouragement of the anti-Western feeling that nourrishes the terrorism (of which it is a vain hope that it would be only anti-American because thay can be separated) and that shameful anaesthesia of the democratic option -called cynical tyrannophilia– which should be considered as the real legacy of Chirac to history.

But Chirac, whose inmunity ended on June, 17th, 2007, is not the only one having bad times lately: French magistrates probing an alleged dirty tricks campaign have searched offices once used by the ex-prime minister, Dominique de Villepin in connection with the Clearstream scandal:

Mr de Villepin faces claims that he encouraged the leaking of papers which falsely implicated Mr Sarkozy in a bribery scandal, sources say.

Mr de Villepin has strenuously denied any involvement in the affair.

He has demanded to be declared an “assisted witness” in the inquiry, a move which would enhance his legal rights and give his lawyers access to police files.

He has curtailed a holiday to monitor the search.

A separate six-hour search of his home was conducted in Paris on Thursday.

Chirac’s silence

The alleged scandal is known as the Clearstream affair, after the Luxembourg clearing house in which Mr Sarkozy and other figures were falsely accused of holding secret accounts into which bribes were paid.

He was French foreign minister at the time of the alleged plot, but went on to become prime minister. The claims against him suggest he was hoping to scupper Mr Sarkozy’s presidential ambitions.

Jacques Chirac’s lawyer says he will not work with investigators

Justice officials say some information key to the inquiry was allegedly retrieved from the laptop computer of a former military intelligence general.

The computer files were said to support claims that Mr de Villepin initiated a meeting that led to Mr Sarkozy being falsely accused of receiving money in relation to a controversial defence contract – the sale of French frigates to Taiwan in 1991.

More in Financial Times:

Mr de Villepin, who was not at home at the time of the raid, on Thursday rejected the “unfounded accusations” against him and denied blackening the name of any politician in the Clearstream affair. He said he would vigorously defend himself.

The Elysée palace said it had no comment to make on a judicial matter.

The convoluted Clearstream affair paralysed the government for weeks last year as the three most senior ministers traded accusations through the media.

While in office, Mr de Villepin was questioned as a witness for 17 hours. Investigating magistrates also questioned Michèle Alliot-Marie, defence minister at the time, who employed Gen Rondot. Ms Alliot-Marie has since succeeded Mr Sarkozy as interior minister.

At the time the affair was widely seen as part of a far bigger power struggle between Mr de Villepin and Mr Sarkozy over who would become presidential candidate of the neo-Gaullist right and succeed Jacques Chirac as president.

More in International Herald Tribune:

The police raid was the first time the home of a former head of the French government has been searched and suggested that the three-year-old Clearstream affair may be entering a combustible stage. The case is a knot of secret investigations and allegations of impropriety involving the financial clearinghouse Clearstream in Luxembourg.

[…] One of the suspects, Jean-Louis Gergorin, a former vice president of the defense consortium EADS, said last year that he had given the list to a magistrate. According to excerpts of the Rondot files quoted by several newspapers, he had written on his computer that he was told “Gergorin received instructions from Dominique de Villepin, which were themselves formulated by the president of the republic, to destabilize Nicolas Sarkozy.”

Villepin, who testified in the case in December, is expected to be summoned for questioning by the end of the month, a judicial source said. If the two suspects cited in the recovered computer files confirm Rondot’s account in scheduled testimony on July 17 and 18, Villepin could face charges of “complicity in calumnious denunciation.”

The former prime minister has denied any wrongdoing. He issued a statement Thursday night saying he never “sought to investigate or compromise any political personality in the Clearstream affair.” Four people have been charged in the case so far.

Dominique de Villepin, after the searches: “I have lived some moments that, as you can imagine, they have not been agreeable, but I have to say that truth will prevail”.

De Villepin could face charges for this affair.

Related news:

  1. Sarkozy is going to support Dominic Strauss-Kahn for the International Monetary Fund, after Rodrigo Rato’s departure.
  2. Michélle Alliot-Marie wants to improve the knowledge of imams in France. She wants to create a French Islam… What???
  3. French representatives are speaking with Russian ones about missile defence, after First Deputy Prime Minister Ivanov has menaced with installing new missile forces in Kaliningrad: This region, in other times called East Prussia, with capital in Königsberg, was German territory till the end of the WWII. It constitutes a very important site, strategically speaking, between Lithuania and Poland, in the middle of European Union.
  4. France is one of the five or six countries, which are objetives of the Islamic terrorists. Roland Jacquard, President of the International Watchdog of terrorism. Video in French.
  5. French Housing Minister, Christine Boutin, suggested last year Bush was behind Sept. 11 attacks. Asked in an interview last November, before she became minister, whether she thought Bush might be behind the attacks, Boutin says: “I think it is possible. I think it is possible.” Boutin backs her assertion by pointing to the large number of people who visit websites that challenge the official line over the September 11 strikes against U.S. cities. “I know that the websites that speak of this problem are websites that have the highest number of visits … And I tell myself that this expression of the masses and of the people cannot be without any truth.” Boutin’s office sought to play down the remarks, saying that later in the same interview she says: “I’m not telling you that I adhere to that position.”

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I wrote some days ago about the possibility of Hamas imposing Sharia Law and how it was feared both by Israelis and Palestinians. Well, it is happening just now:

WorldNetDaily: Christians warned: Accept Islamic law

Christians can continue living safely in the Gaza Strip only if they accept Islamic law, including a ban on alcohol and on women roaming publicly without proper head coverings, an Islamist militant leader in Gaza told WND in an exclusive interview.

The militant leader said Christians in Gaza who engage in “missionary activity” will be “dealt with harshly.”

The threats come two days after a church and Christian school in Gaza was attacked following the seizure of power in the territory by the Hamas terror group.

“I expect our Christian neighbors to understand the new Hamas rule means real changes. They must be ready for Islamic rule if they want to live in peace in Gaza,” said Sheik Abu Saqer, leader of Jihadia Salafiya, an Islamic outreach movement that recently announced the opening of a “military wing” to enforce Muslim law in Gaza.

Jihadia Salafiya is suspected of attacking a United Nations school in Gaza last month, after the school allowed boys and girls to participate in the same sporting event. One person was killed in that attack.

“The situation has now changed 180 degrees in Gaza,” said Abu Saqer, speaking from Gaza yesterday.

“Jihadia Salafiya and other Islamic movements will ensure Christian schools and institutions show publicly what they are teaching to be sure they are not carrying out missionary activity. No more alcohol on the streets. All women, including non-Muslims, need to understand they must be covered at all times while in public,” Abu Asqer told WND.

“Also the activities of Internet cafes, pool halls and bars must be stopped,” he said. “If it goes on, we’ll attack these things very harshly.”

Abu Saqer accused the leadership of the Gaza Christian community of “proselytizing and trying to convert Muslims with funding from American evangelicals.”

Read all…

Anyway, West offers cash and talks to keep Abbas in charge as partner for peace-News-World-Middle East-TimesOnline

America and the European Union moved swiftly to shore up Palestinian moderates yesterday, releasing millions of dollars for the new Government based in the West Bank.

Washington and Brussels announced the lifting of economic sanctions after Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian President, sacked all members of Hamas, the militant Islamic group, which staged last week’s bloody takeover of the Gaza Strip. In a telephone call yesterday President Bush told Mr Abbas that the US would support “Palestinian moderates”.

Later Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State, reaffirmed America’s commitment to the “two-state solution” for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, first promised by Mr Bush five years ago. Palestinians faced a choice, she said, between pursuing more violence or peace and a better life.

The US has recognised Mr Abbas and his new Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, as the legitimate leaders of the West Bank and Gaza. Dr Rice promised yesterday that this meant the US would resume normal “government-to-government contacts”.

And from Infidel Bloggers Alliance: Stupid request of the day:

B’Tselem demands that perpetrators of war crimes in Gaza be tried and warns against revenge attacks in the West Bank
The Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem today calls on the Palestinian leadership of Hamas in the Gaza Strip to investigate all war crimes that may have been committed during the clashes in the Gaza Strip, and to bring all suspects to criminal trial.

This happens as Abbas’ aide Yasser Abed accused Iran of being responsible of fomenting the Hamas seizure in Gaza. h/t Desde el Exilio.

UPDATE: GayandRight: Christians under attach in Gaza… Who is going to defend this people??

Father Manuel Musalam, leader of the small Latin community in the Gaza Strip, said masked gunmen torched and looted the Rosary Sisters School and the Latin Church.

The masked gunmen used rocket-propelled grenades to storm the main entrances of the school and church,” he said. “Then they destroyed almost everything inside, including the Cross, the Holy
Book, computers and other equipment

Musalam expressed outrage over the burning of copies of the Bible, noting that the gunmen destroyed all the Crosses inside the church and school. “Those who did these awful things have no respect for Christian-Muslim relations,” he said.

When are going to be the next outraged Christian riots when we will burn Hamas flag? 😦 This is despicable…

(Reuters) – Israel plans to tighten a financial clampdown on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip that would choke off all but humanitarian and basic supplies, senior Israeli and Western officials said on Tuesday.
While opening the funding taps to the Western-backed emergency government set up by President Mahmoud Abbas in the occupied West Bank,
Israel and the United States want to isolate Hamas financially, diplomatically and militarily in the Gaza Strip, which the Islamist group seized by force last week.
To that end, two senior Israeli officials said the plan was to bar Palestinian tax funds transferred to Abbas from reaching Gaza to run Hamas-led agencies and pay workers.
Gaza is a terrorist-controlled entity now,” said one of the Israeli officials, who is working with U.S. officials to isolate Hamas. “No financial assistance can go to any entity or person with connections to the Hamas-run administration in Gaza.”

The humanitarian crisis is going to be outstanding. After last year 14.000 Palestinians flee, now Gazans stream to crossing with Israel – Yahoo! News

Hundreds of terrified Gazans fleeing Hamas rule were trapped at a main crossing with Israel on Tuesday, hoping to gain permission to pass through Israeli territory to sanctuary in the West Bank.

Fearing death or persecution, Gazans began flocking to the Erez passage after Hamas militants wrested control of the coastal strip from Fatah security forces late last week. Israel, which has no interest in letting masses of Gazans pass through its territory and possibly destabilize the quieter West Bank, has refused to let most of them in, saying their lives were not in danger.
By Tuesday, about 600 people were holed up in the long, concrete tunnel that leads to the Israeli side of the crossing. Around 100 people belonged to Fatah security forces, but the rest were civilians, seeking a better life in the West Bank.
Women, children and young men sat between two high concrete walls about 10 yards apart, looking tired and sweaty. Suitcases and trash were strewn on the ground. Some families sat on mats, others on bare concrete. A breeze barely stirred between the walls, and the tunnel, which has no toilets, reeked of urine and sweat.
On Monday, gunmen allied with Hamas disguised themselves as fleeing civilians and hurled hand grenades at Israeli soldiers and Palestinians at Erez, killing a relative of a slain Fatah warlord, and injuring 15 other Palestinians.

UPDATE 3: More about Palestinians fleeing from Israel: My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Palestinians run as they try to cross to the Israel side at the Erez Crossing, in the northern Gaza Strip, Saturday, June 16, 2007. Dozens of Palestinians converged on the Erez crossing with Israel on Saturday, trying to leave the Gaza Strip following Hamas’ takeover. At the same time, hundreds of people looted police positions on the Palestinian side of Erez, and at one point Israeli troops fired in the air to keep the crowd at bay. The looters walked off with furniture and scrap metal. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

UPDATE 4: Also read Jules Crittenden’s “Enemy of my Enemy” h/t Abdul in Freedom’s Zone. Abdul writes:

Conveniently, the word Fatah (or Fath) was a specific label Muslims ascribed to the bloody and barbaric expansion of Islam by the sword over its first hundred years (Hmmmm – there’s aclue here somewhere as to their intentions). As an organization, Fatah is one of many borne out of the Muslim Brotherhood. Fatah logo contains two crossed assault rifles superimposed on the land of Israel covered in Islamic green. Qur’anic slogans on the graphic depiction of Fatah’s mission encourages jihad. These days, Fatah conducts its terrorist missions under the name al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades. As one writer phrases it, if Fatah was Nazism, al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades would be the SS. For those who have lived in a cave since WW-II, this is not something that denotes love and kindness, and tolerance of Jews and infidels that don’t follow the radical line.

UPDATE 5: Don’t laugh: Catholic World News : Gaza convent sacked; Hamas condemns action

Gaza, Jun. 19, 2007 (CWNews.com) – On June 14, a school administered by the Sisters of the Holy Rosary was demolished in the Gaza Strip. In the chapel adjoining the sisters’ convent, the crucifix and a statue of Christ were broken and prayer books burned.

Father Manuel Mussallam, the only Catholic priest currently living in Gaza, denounced the sacking of the school and convent, describing it to AsiaNews as a “barbaric act.” The incident occurred during the course of fighting between two Palestinian factions: al Fatah and Hamas.

Although the school and convent are located near a police station, a spokesman for Hamas– which now controls the Gaza Strip– said that the group was not responsible for the violence against the Catholic nuns. Salah Bardawil said: “The Christians are our brothers in Gaza and everywhere, and we will protect their holy places and school, as we do our Islamic schools.”

We will protect every Christian in the earth the moment they submit. In the meantime, we will ransack their places… to remind them who is in charge…

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Original post in Spanish here

This campaign has some very important characteristics: corruption, violence against PP and appeasement of the Government to ETA, basically.

In Sevilla, PP has announced that it has been discovered that the Majorship, ruled by the Socialists, was sending by fax instructions to forge official receipts. The Major has said nothing about this.

PSOE has also been accused of corruption in the Malaya case, something which can give the Majorship directly to PP.

Precisely it was the Malaya case the one who could have given a heart attack to the nowadays Madrid’s Major and Pp candidate to the same post on May 27th elections Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón in a TV debate. In the middle of the debate, Miguel Sebastián, PSOE candidate to Major and before  that Director of the powerful Economic Office of the Presidency, showed him a photo of Montserrat Corulla, a very beautiful lawyer who has been accused of acting as “man of straw” in teh Malaya case and asked him if he had “something to do with someone related to this corruption net. As Ms. Corulla is very beautiful and it was rumoured that he had an affaire with Ruiz-Gallardón, the latter answered he was not going to answer about personal matters. Some people I have been speaking with consider that Sebastián wanted Ruiz-Gallardón to ask him about his homosexuality -and present him as an homophobe-, as it is rumoured that Sebastián is homosexual. Well, nowadays it looks like that is Sebastián the one who has something to do in the Malaya case. PP has already asked him for it.

From the Economic office of the Presidence, Sebastián&Co. prepared an assault on BBVA, using the old -and unethical- tactic of accusing its president, Francisco González, of having committed tax crime/administrative infraction, something which was denounced by Manuel Conthe, ex-president of CNMV (Spanish SEC). Anyway, is BBVA now free of the wrongdoings of the EOP? Looks like that it isn’t. And the benefits would be -again- for Italy and Mr. Prodi.

Even the Basque Nationalist Party that normally has not been involved in any corruption phenomenon, has a senator, Víctor Bravo, ex-director of Guipúzcoa Budget  Office, who has been accused of “diminishing” the debts some people had for not having taxes if they pay earlier and it was paid to him.  This has not been the first case in the last months that the Basque Nationalists are accused of corruption: some others (for example, Juan Ramón Ibarra o José María Bravo) were doing the same. The fact that the BNP has been ruling the Community in most part of the 30 years since democracy came could have been the cause for not having discovered more cases of corruption within this party.

But there are other tyoes of corruption appearing this days: Canarian Coalition  has denounced PSOE for a  fraudulent growth of the  electoral lists in the Canary Islands in the areas where the PSOE is ruling:

Coalición Canaria ha presentado una denuncia ante la Junta Electoral Provincial por el incremento fraudulento del censo electoral en municipios de La Gomera gobernados por el PSOE. Concretamente, en Vallehermoso CC ha detectado graves irregularidades al incrementarse el censo electoral, respecto al anterior de 2003, en barrios o calles ‘en los que apenas existen habitantes desde hace 25 años’.

The same thing looks like that has happened in Galicia and in Valencia. Just the same Venezuelan Bolivarian Chávez made in the past.

About agressions toPPthey have continued throughout these past days and nothing indicates they are going to stop:

17.05.07 Mataró (Barcelona). The PP office appears with the word “fachas” (fascists) in the walls and in the surroundings it could be read “go out of a worker’s quarter”.

19.05.07. Getafe (Madrid). Unkown people painting to the electoral posters and the main PP office in the city. -in this locality nº2 is Gica Craioveanu, a Romanian footballer-. The Pp candidate has already said that they are not going to stop working for change.

20.05.06. San Sebastián. A hundred pro-ETA intimidated, insulted and menaced the PP candidate to San Sebastián’s Major, María José Usandizaga, when she had finished an electoral act in the Olf Part of the city. She had to take refuge in a store because of the lack of Basque policemen in the area.

20.05.07. Torrelodones (Madrid). There are damages in PP billboards and posters and insulting paintings against PP in other publicity places..

20.05.07. Coslada (Madrid). A group of people throw stones to the PP electoral van. they also insulted them, calline them “fascists” and menaced them with “Hope that they put a bomb and kill you all”.

The last one has taken place today in Valencia -another explosive was set some days ago there too-. The Government has not condemned any of these acts which are totally against a normal democratic and peaceful behaviour.

But Granada’s PSOE has called the youths to a “macrobotellón” -that is, where people drink alcohol till they are so drunk that some of them even finish it with an alcohol coma [think that it is said like that…smile_omg]- against PP the night before the elections (the so-called reflection day). The prosecutor has already denounced the initiative.

Moving over to the terrorist subject, the Catalan terrorist group Terra Lliure, after TV3 -Catalan public TV- made a documentary nearly praising them has issued a death threat against Albert Ribera, 27-year-old and president of the new party Ciutadans de Cataluña (Catalonian citizens). The important thing here is that Terra Lliure had been a lot of years without appearing in the public scene -in fact, it was officialy dissolved in the 90’s-. Albert Rivera has said that he is not scared because of the threats.

The pro-ETA newspaper GARA has issued some fascicles in which they sum up how the negotiation with the Goverment has happened. And there are surprising -or not?- revelations.

It’s absolutely shameful to read that PSOE representant in the negotiations, Jesús Eguiguren (accused and convicted for hitting his wife, something which is striking being this a so-feminist self-called Government…) asked textually to the ETA terrorists: “Slow down please the degree of your menaces. Nwither PP nor socialists dissidents and never to women”. And he continues: “because that is, in the public opinion, horrible for us, who are helping you all that we can“. Just to sum up: someone who has been convincted for hitting his wife, asks the terrorists with the “please” before. Delicious, isn’t it. And coherent. My goodness, this man should be out of politics since the day he was convicted…

Even Gara has publishedthat a year ago the Government agree with them to close a “treaty” for the Basque country before July 31st this year.. And that Otegi -Batasuna’s president- is out of jail because of another agreement between PSOE and Batasuna– he was accused of praising terrorism-.

The revering position of this Government, that we could observe in Eguiguren, has produced a multiplication of support for the so-called izquierda abertzale [abertzale left] -they are nothing but the people who support ETA- and the agressions to politicians of all sort (also the Spanish Minister of Justice or Basque nationalist Party politicians) and in the classroom (more here). they have even interrupted a meeting at the Majorship of San Sebastián, ruled by the not-very-much-admired Odón Elorza, in favor of the dialogue with the terrorists.

Today ETA has also exploded a low explosive to a Socialist Candidate. Joseba Elola has pointed out that he is frightened but that never he had been threatened before by the abertzale.

Navarra is going to be the key in the process: if UPN (right) does not take the absolute majority (half and 1) of the total seats in the Autonomous Community, Navarra will -with 99% probability- be united with basques in the first step to the independence of both Communities. The problem is that Socialist base in Navarra are not speaking about this possibility. As a result of the tense situation and to increase that sensation, Navarra is full of anti-system groups today. Because they know the importance of the event.

In this climate is not surprising that the concentrations called by Foro de Ermua and another similar associations against negotiation were forbidden by the Government, for example in Madrid.

ETA has also announced that the bloody terrorist Josu Ternera will continue to be its representant in the negociation. The wife-hitter negotiating with the terrorist Spain’s future. Hmm, what a perspectivesmile_confused

It is also quite surprising the plittle coverage and attention MSM are giving to the Gallician independentist terrorism. Since Socialists and Galician nacionalists arrived to power last years attacks have increased with home-made devices planted in strategic places and with notes written in Galician-portuguese, a modality only spoken by Galician nationalists: 

Le cuentan a El Chivato que los incidentes violentos –en realidad, actos terroristas- protagonizados por independentistas se han incrementado desde la llegada a la Xunta de la coalición PSOE-BNG. El último hecho fue la bomba colocada en un polígono industrial de Lugo el pasado martes, día 15. Dato muy relevante: el artefacto estaba dirigido contra una constructora cuyo dueño fue político del Partido Popular.

Que se sepa, no se han escuchado palabras de condena de parte de Touriño, ni de Anxo Quintana, mucho más cuando no pocas juventudes del BNG se mezclan con ese tipo radicales. Un extraño caso de silencio a pesar de que la bomba estuvo colocada frente a un supermercado y pudo ocasionar “graves daños impredecibles” de no haber sido desactiva por los Tedax.

La reivindicación de la bomba apareció escrita en gallego-lusista, a pesar de lo cual los medios de comunicación han obviado la palabra “independentistas gallegos” al referirse a los autores del atentado. Muchos han preferido hablar de “unos desconocidos”, cuando ese idioma inexistente únicamente es utilizado por los independentistas.

The political leaders have not condemned these acts.

Everything is complicated by the march 11th bombings investigation, that shows that anything is very clear. The superior policeman in charge of the proofs derived from the explosions, Sánchez Manzano (more than 30 years in the force and the main actor in the polemic about the boric acid) did not keep the explosives properly.

It is not strange than that Zapatero was booed yesterday when visiting his granfather’s village -you know, the one killed by Franco, who was a double agent for both the republicans and the nationals in the war (more here, even when the Spanish Public TV does not show it. And it is not strange that Bilbao’s streets have been covered with posters against Zapatero and ETA terrorist De Juana saying: “25 víctimas do not at any more. ZP do not negotiate with our deads”. nor that the Wall Street journal alerts about the growing uneasiness because of … ZP.

related news:

  1. the relatives of the dead in Guadalajara’s fire insult Socialist President Barreda (Autonomous Community of Castilla-la Mancha).
  2. Spanish National Bank sells 80 tons of gold because of the deficit in the commercial trade with foreign countries.
  3. There is also a revolutión in Second Life, against ETA negotiation.

Related posts:

  1. Spanish Elections Watch 2007 (part 3): more violence and ANV.
  2. Spanish Elections Watch 2007 (part 2): agressions on PP members.
  3. Spanish Elections Watch 2007.
  4. Corrupsoe reloaded (part 2): Sebastián, socialist candidate to Madrid’s Majorship.
  5. Corrupsoe reloaded (part 1): Ibiza connection and Arenillas.

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From Time magazine:

Past scandals? Yes, Alemán has a few. In fact, he’s currently serving a 20-year jail sentence for embezzling and laundering some $100 million from the coffers of the second poorest nation in the hemisphere. Transparency International awarded him the dubious distinction of including him in its list of the World’s Ten Most Corrupt leaders of all time. (To his credit, he only ranked ninth, ahead of former Philippine President Joseph Estrada, who stole a paltry $80 million.).
Popularity? Not really; Alemán consistently polls as the least popular public figure in Nicaragua.
Clean bill of health? Not exactly. At 61, Alemán is obese and reportedly in frail health, suffering from ten different chronic illnesses.
But none of that seems to deter Alemán’s revived presidential ambitions, nor does he appear too concerned about the legal provision that prevents prison inmates from running for office. Instead, Alemán is out on the road campaigning in old form, with more optimism than Orphan Annie, more money than Daddy Warbucks, more jolliness than Santa Clause and a political charisma that — pound for pound — rivals Bill Clinton. And in Nicaragua, that combination trumps reality.

[…] Alemán’s self-confidence is stroked by a posse of yes-men who refer to him as their “maximum leader,” but his insurance is rooted in a secretive power-sharing pact he forged in 2001 with the nation’s leading powerbroker, President Daniel Ortega, in which the leaders agreed to divvy up power in state institutions.
In March, Alemán’s already loose conditions of house arrest were further relaxed to allow him the freedom to travel the country. And now that President Ortega needs opposition support for his government’s agenda, Alemán, who controls the second biggest legislative bloc in the National Assembly, is cashing in a few more chips. On April 19, Sandinista and Liberal lawmakers combined to pass a law reducing the prison term for money laundering to five years, which Alemán conveniently will complete next December.

Oh yeah, and the law is retroactive, meaning Alemán could now finish his soft sentence 15 years ahead of schedule and run for President in 2011. Free at Last! Free at Last!
But the hawkish Alemán, who speaks wistfully of the repressive days of the Somoza dictatorship (which Ortega overthrew as leader of the Sandinista insurgents), was never a typical prisoner. He has spent more of his jail sentence in a hospital bed recovering from a minor finger surgery (three months to be exact) than he spent behind bars. And now that full freedom appears to be just around the corner, he has valiantly cast aside concerns for his own health for the good of his party’s.

h/t Kate.




Nicaragua is also re-establishing ties with NKorea h/t Noisy Room.Net. Not very consistent with the desire of not following Venezuela’s radicalization.


Related posts: Nicaragua was with Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia and Haiti (host of the event) in the meeting where all of these counties announced that thy were retiring themselves from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund -except Haiti, that is-.

En español, aquí.

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So the revelations about the Economic Direction of the Presidency (EDP) keep on coming. Mr. Conthe, ex-president of the National Commission of the Market Shares (CNMV, the equivalent to the US SEC) has stated that he has “direct evidence” that Carlos Arenillas, vicepresident of the same Commission, received orders and acted as a representative from the EDP in the case of FG Valores in Jan 2005. “There was an incorrect mixture of personal links and public functions in realtion with a dossier about the president of the Bank“, referring himself to Francisco González, the President of one of Spain’s most important banks BBVA.

El ex presidente de la Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores (CNMV) Manuel Conthe afirmó este lunes tener “evidencia directa” de que el vicepresidente del organismo, Carlos Arenillas, recibió instrucciones y actuó como “correa de transmisión” de la Oficina Económica de Presidencia del Gobierno sobre el expediente FG Valores en enero de 2005. En concreto, señaló que tiene evidencia clara de un supuesto en el que a su juicio, hubo una “mezcla indebida de vínculos personales con funciones públicas en lo relativo a un dossier sobre el presidente de un banco”, en alusión a Francisco González, presidente del BBVA.

More about the embarrasing news:
ABC.es: economia – economia – Moncloa intentó utilizar a la CNMV para acosar al presidente del BBVA

El ya ex presidente de la Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores (CNMV), Manuel Conthe, aprovechó ayer la toma de posesión de Julio Segura, para dar a conocer las «pruebas» por las que asegura que el vicepresidente de la CNMV, Carlos Arenillas, no debe permanecer en el cargo. Según explicó en una improvisada rueda de prensa, el sábado 15 de enero de 2005, Arenillas le llamó por móvil para que se vieran urgentemente «donde fuera», porque tenía «un documento importantísimo» que enseñarle. De esta forma, Conthe se presentó en el domicilio de Arenillas, la segunda y última vez que lo haría. En sus manos tenía el dossier de la venta de FG Valores a Merril Lynch, afirmando que se lo «había pasado la Oficina Económica de la Moncloa», donde había acudido con su coche oficial a recogerlo y, con la advertencia de que una copia del documento obraba en manos del jefe de informativos de la Cadena Ser, Javier Ruiz. Acto seguido, Arenillas llamó al periodista, quien se reunió con ellos pasados cinco minutos, llevando el dossier. Conthe les dijo que ese documento sería «irrelevante» si no pasaba el registro de entrada de la CNMV, lo que sucedió el lunes 17 de enero. Cinco días después, el 22 de enero, dicho dossier quedó archivado por entender la CNMV que era «prácticamente imposible» esclarecer las posibles irregularidades contables que se denunciaban. Estos hechos sucedían en el momento en que Sacyr acosaba al presidente del BBVA, Francisco González, tras haber comprado un poco más del 3% del banco.

But the things get more interesting. The person who was then the Director of the EDP was Miguel Sebastian (photo, left), now Socialist candidate to be Madrid’s Major, appointed by Zapatero, with no kind of militants’ elections and who is said to be the one who wrote the dossier to indict Francisco González.
Leftist radio Cadena Ser from Spanish holding PRISA, S.A., denied yesterday any meddling in the affair. But leftist newspaper EL País, from the same holding, has contradicted the radio and has recognised that it was Sebastian’s doing.
The Socialist candidate has suspended all his activities for the next 2 days.
It was said on those days that Sebastian wanted González’s job.
At the same time, Solbes, Economy Spanish Minister says that “hmm, that is something of the past“. Coming from a Government who is everyday searching for Historic Memory that is a somewhat bizarre statement. And at the same time, he is acknowledging that it was true…
El País deja en evidencia a la SER y reconoce que el dossier contra Francisco González viene de Miguel Sebastián – Libertad Digital

la Cadena SER. La emisora negó este lunes que el origen del informe fuera la Oficina Económica de Moncloa, pero este martes el editorial de El País pone en evidencia a la cadena al señalar al propio Sebastián. El candidato socialista a la Alcaldía de Madrid ha suspendido sus apariciones durante este martes y el miércoles.

What is more, he said this in the act in which the new President from the CNMV was officialy named. The new President, Mr. Segura was a Communist in his youth -very appropriate as someone who has to monitorize the share markets of a capitalistic nature: La Nación – Conthe acusa a Arenillas de ser correa de transmisión del Gobierno en el caso FG

Conthe realizó estas acusaciones ante los periodistas pocos minutos antes de que Segura tomara posesión, en un acto en el que participaron el vicepresidente segundo del Gobierno, Pedro Solbes, el propio Arenillas, y en el que estuvieron presentes, entre otros, el consejero delegado del BBVA, Jose Ignacio Gorigolzarri.

AS a result of the recent scandals in the CNMV, Popular Party is going to defend in Parliament on Thursday (that is, today), that the election of the President of the CNMV is made by a qualified majority of 3/5 of the Congress, something which has been more insisted on as a result of the last scandals, both related with Endesa turnover bid by Italian Enel and Spanish Acciona, and the now voiced -but which a lot of people suspected- pressures to convict Francisco González.
La Nación – El PP plantea que el presidente de la CNMV sea elegido por el Parlamento

El PP defienderá este martes en el Pleno del Congreso de los Diputados que el procedimiento de elección del presidente de la Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores se realice a través de una mayoría cualificada de tres quintos de la Cámara Baja, reivindicación que los ‘populares’ han acentuado a raíz de las OPAs sobre Endesa y especialmente, tras las acusaciones que Manuel Conthe ha lanzado contra la Oficina Económica de la Presidencia del Gobierno al dejar el órgano supervisor.

Conthe acusa a Moncloa de usar la CNMV contra el presidente del BBVA – 20minutos.es
Left, Mr. Conthe, Mr Solbes (Spanish Mister for Budget and Economy) and Mr. Segura (new President of the CNMV), at the official act of the latter’s apointment as President of CNMV.
I have to add that Solbes and Sebastián have had a little war in the shades over the economy. Zapatero is a friend of Sebastián while he had to name Solbes to quiet some of his parties voices. It is rumoured that Sebastián is going to be named new Budget and Economy Minister after the May elections as he has not very good perspectives with the elections in Madrid.
As you can see in the photo, Segura is from Sebastian’s school. Is is my imagination or is he laughing about Solbes?

And what the leftists have said? The same El País has, in an editorial blamed all the problems in “Conthe’s lack of discretion, moderation and level-headed analysis that should have any high responsable of a financial control body“. Well, thank God Conthe is a Socialist. I wonder what they would have said if a center-right person would have been appointed.
And yes, the problem of the corruption is that people denounce it, not that people commits it. Marvellous…
La Frase Progre: “Todo arranca con el nombramiento de Conthe, que nunca dispuso de las cualidades de discreción, mesura y análisis ecuánime de la realidad que debería tener el máximo responsable de un organismo regulador financiero”

“Todo arranca con el nombramiento de Conthe, que nunca dispuso de las cualidades de discreción, mesura y análisis ecuánime de la realidad que debería tener el máximo responsable de un organismo regulador financiero”

But there is more: VP Arenillas also lied to Congress. When he asked if he had received pressures or instructions for any of the Government members or by their consulting bodies, he denied it. He said that “at any time he had received any of those“.
Arenillas minti�: Conthe demuestra que Moncloa estaba detr�s del acoso a FG – elConfidencial.com

Carlos Arenillas, vicepresidente de la CNMV, est� entre la espada y la pared, obligado a dimitir hoy mismo sin m�s dilaci�n. Las revelaciones que realiz� ayer el presidente saliente del supervisor, Manuel Conthe, sobre el �caso FG� demuestran que Arenillas minti� en el Congreso de los Diputados. All�, el vicepresidente asegur� que �en ning�n momento hab�a recibido instrucciones o presiones por parte de ning�n miembro del Gobierno o de sus organismos asesores�

Related posts: Corrupsoe reloaded (part 1): Ibiza and Arenillas.

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One of the distinct characteristics of the first 90’s was the corruption. The so-called beautiful people was every day in the papers as every day there was another scandal under the sun.
Well, Socialist came to power and corruption in a big scale again is on the papers.
From El Mundo:

El ex secretario general del PSOE en Ibiza, Roque López, desvela en una serie de conversaciones mantenidas mientras dirigía el partido que el PSOE pactó con el presidente de la promotora Brues el cobro de una comisión de 1,5 millones de euros. EL MUNDO ha tenido acceso a ellas y las revelará en diversas entregas.
López también cuenta en las conversaciones grabadas cómo la formación que lideró hasta el pasado mes de noviembre acordó el cobro de dicha comisión con el empresario Antonio Pinal.
El proyecto al que se refiere el caso es el Eivissa Centre, que ya se promueve a cargo de una empresa mixta, Itusa, cuyo 51% de las acciones obra en poder del consistorio ibicenco y el 49% restante está a nombre de Brues. La transformación de este centro ha sido presupuestada en unos 120 millones de euros.
En dicho complejo está previsto construir, entre otros edificios, un auditorio, un Palacio de Justicia, la Dirección Insular de la Administración, y un edificio de viviendas y locales comerciales. Además de 1.300 plazas de aparcamiento.
El ex secretario socialista le explicó con todo lujo de detalles la intrahistoria de la operación a una compañera de partido, la edil de Fiestas y Juventud de Ibiza, Sandra
Mayans, conversación que revela EL MUNDO.

The ex-secretary general of Socialists of Ibiza, Roque López, explains in some conversations held during he was the boss of the Party in the island, he agreed with the president of the constructor firm “Brues” a commission of €1,5 millions.
López also has some more tapes in which it is told how the party he leadered till last Nov. agreed the party was going to be payed that commission. The businessman who was going to pay it was Antonio Pinal, an old known by every one because he was also the one who “collaborated” with Roldán.
The project that was the object of this, was the Eivissa Centre, promoted by a mixed firm, Itusa, of which 51% are owned by Ibiza’s Majorship and the other 49% belongs to Brues. The cost of the transformation of this center has a cost (in the budget) of around €120 millions.
In this complex, among other buildings, an auditorium, a Justice Palace, the Insular Direction of the Central Administration and a building with apartments and shops. And 1,300 parking places.
Periodista Digital continues: The Socialist ex-secretary explained fully the details of the operation to another party partner, the town consellor of Holidays and Young People from Ibiza, Sandra Mayans. In the same tapes they are naming this project “the most important cake of History“.

Of course, the main accused in the tapes, the Organization Secretary of PSOE (Socialists) José Blanco (above) has denied all the accusations derived from the tapes.
But there is another big corruption discovered on later days. The discovery by an independent MSM group, Interconomia, that Mr. Arenillas, Vicepresident of CNMV (Spanish SEC) had gone out with the boss of a hedge bonds firm and spent 1.400 on a dinner. Later they went to have some fun in the Madrid’s night. Afterwards, Arenillas’ brother was given a job on the firm.
Popular Party asked for his dimission. Mr. Conthe, the now ex-President of CNMV also asked for it, as he did not “give the appearance of being independent“. The fact that Mr. Arenillas’ wife is, Mercedes Cabrera, the Minister of Education, does not help that either.
All this crisis was mixed with the terrible crisis of the CNMV as a result of the takeover bid of Spanish electric firm, Endesa, by Italian Enel and Spanish Acciona. Mr. Conthe, after fighting for going to Congress to explain why he had resigned, denounced the Economic Office of Presidency, a sort of Economy Ministry in the shades, of the multiple illegal or at least, unethical, performed by both Enel and Acciona, the own Spanish Government and several members of CNMV’s board, specially Arenillas.
Mr. Conthe also blamed his own demission on the Board of the CNMV, who was not brave enough to punish both Enel and Acciona for their irregularities. Conthe even stated that the Government supported the takeover bid by Enel-Acciona, something extremely grave as, in a market economy, the Government is supposed to be impartial.
Popular Party has demanded action to the Anti-corruption Prosecutor because of the facts related to the takeover bid.

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After the delirium he lived this last week-end, Chávez wants to nationalize the banks:

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Thursday threatened to nationalize the country’s banks and largest steel producer, accusing them of unscrupulous practices.
Private banks have to give priority to financing the industrial sectors of Venezuela at low cost,” Chavez said. “If banks don’t agree with this, it’s better that they go, that they turn over the banks to me, that we nationalize them and get all the banks to work for the development of the country and not to speculate and produce huge profits.” Chavez also warned the government could take over steel producer Sidor, which is majority controlled by Luxembourg-based Ternium SA.

Hmm, yes, of course, and Venezuela has not any taxes on banks’ profit, hasn’t it? Did he have a lapsus? “That they turn over the banks to ME”….

More from Beitbart:

It was not clear if Chavez was only referring to Venezuelan banks like Mercantil Servicios Financieros CA and others, or if he was aiming the threat at major international banks that do business in the country, such as Banco Santander Central Hispano SA and Citigroup Inc.

Chavez also warned the government could take over steel producer Sidor, which is majority controlled by Luxembourg-based Ternium SA.
Sidor “has created a monopoly” and sold the bulk of its production overseas, forcing local producers to import tubes and other products from China and elsewhere, Chavez said.
“If the company Sidor … does not immediately agree to change this process, they will oblige me to nationalize it,” Chavez said.
“I prefer not to,” Chavez added, as he ordered Mining Minister Jose Khan to depart immediately for the company’s headquarters and return with a recommendation within 24 hours.

Ye’ be warned…

If we consider that this year, inflation in Venezuela was 4.1% till april and that last year was 14.7% till September, Venezuela can have huge bad results in not a distant future.

But that’s not all: Corruption in Venezuela has boomed as oil prices have soared ($225.ooo millions in benefits both in oil and bonds) and the fact that the national funds are managed in secrecy and with no transparency. But Venezuela is also giving away a lot of money to Cuba (estimated between $2,2oo millions y $2,300 millions per year). Gustavo Coronel, author of the study, member of the Oil Joint Council of Venezuela between 1976 and 1979, writes:

Desde registros sospechosos de votantes (Venezuela tiene 17.000 votantes nacidos en el siglo diecinueve, con una persona de 175 años de edad que todavía trabaja) hasta contratos estatales sin licitación previa, todos los niveles de la sociedad han sido afectados. La corrupción involucra a los ministros, los jueces, los militares, los banqueros y a los ciudadanos ordinarios.
Desafortunadamente, no hay mucha probabilidad de una reforma. Los casos destacados de corrupción no han sido castigados. Coronel concluye: “Para reducir la corrupción de manera significativa en Venezuela, sería necesario eliminar los motivos y las oportunidades y castigar a los responsables. Luego de ocho años de Hugo Chávez en el poder, resulta completamente claro que la lucha contra la corrupción en Venezuela no podrá comenzar hasta que Chávez se haya ido”.

From suspicious voters’ registries (Venezuela has 17.000 voters born in the XIXth century, with someone aged 175 years that is working yet) to state contract given with no previous process, every part of the society have been affected. There are ministers, judges, military men, bank businessmen and ordinary citizens involved corruption.
Unfortunately, a reform is not probable. The most important cases of corruption had not been punished. Coronel concludes: “To reduce the corruption in a significant manner in Venezuela, it would be necessary to elimininate both the motives and the opportunities and punish the culprits. After 8 years of Chávez in power, it is very clear that the fight against corruption would not begin till Chávez has gone“.

Chávez has also began “agrotiendas socialistas“, sort of “Socialist agro-shops”. El Mentidero writes about these new shops:

La iniciativa consiste en repartir una especie de economatos propiedad del Estado, que a este paso será el único que pueda ejercer el derecho a la propiedad, que ofertan productos agrícolas con el fin de abaratar los “costos” de producción a los agricultores, como dicen ellos. Además, también “asesorarán” sobre qué productos deben (o pueden) comprar los campesinos. El caso es que controlarán hasta los productos que una persona debe comprar para sus cultivos, perjudicando así la competencia del sector y atacando de frente la libertad de empresa, pues mucho me temo que los establecimientos y productores privados no podrán hacer frente a precios públicos tan bajos.

The initiative consists basically in having a sort of little shops, state-owned, through all the country. These shops will offer agricultural products with the aim of reducing costs. They will also advice the peasantsabout the products they should (or can) buy. [So] they will be able even to control the products someone buys for their crops, damaging the competence inside this sector and attacking frontly the freedom of market, because I fea that private shops and producers won’t be able to face this public prices so low.

In the link there is very interesting video, in Spanish, in which the man in charged of one of these agrotiendas says he is very happy to open another of these shops to serve the “revolusión bolivariana“.

And more Venezuelans are leaving.

Also in O Insurgente.

DIE Zeit calls Chávez “el caudillo izquierdista populista del petróleo”, that is the “oil leftist-populist leader” [Venezuelas linkspopulistischer Öl-Caudillo]. Very interesting the last paragraph which points out that he is doing really nothing to reduce the dependence of Venezuela from the profits of the raw materials, especially when the possibility exists of new materials or sources of energy which could be developed in the future.

As Chávez announces he is out of World Bank and International Monetary Fund,

Investors reduced exposure to Venezuela’s sovereign debt on Wednesday on fears that the country’s decision to leave the IMF could trigger a technical default on its external bonds.
Total returns on Venezuela’s debt declined 0.6 percent on JP Morgan’s EMBI+ index (11EMJ: Quote, Profile, Research after President Hugo Chavez announced on Monday that Venezuela will withdraw its membership from Washington-based lending organizations like the IMF and the World Bank.

You can read the marvellous post of Devil’s Excrement with some more news. Especially this paragraph about what could happen with the bonds:
You see, much of the country’s bonds, including those issued by Chavez as recently as a year and half ago, include a clause or a covenant which says that the country leaving the IMF would constitute a default event. Of course, Chavez knows it all, but apparently could not remember this detail, which led to the bonds dropping today. To make matters eve worse, the Minister of Finance, said Venezuela had no plans to default on its debt, demonstrating his ignorance about what default means. He repeated later in the day that Venezuela had no plans to default, referring to no plans of stopping paying the debt, but clearly failed to understand that a technical default would mean that bondholders could ask for accelerated payment, lowers ratings, more cost and even worse, the inability of the country to issue new debt while the condition exists.
Captain Ed has more.

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From Deustche-Welle:

Three Italian nationals have been charged and are being held in custody in Brussels as part of a corruption probe into tenders awarded by the European Commission.

The three include a civil servant working for the European Commission, an assistant to a member of the European Parliament and a businessman, Belgian prosecutors said on Wednesday.

The three men, who live in Belgium and whose names were not given, were charged with forgery and using forged documents, corruption, fraud and forming a criminal organization, said spokesman Jos Colpin.

Large-scale bribery

“There were bribes of millions of euros for more than 10 years,” Colpin said.

The bribes were paid in relation to public tenders for buildings housing “European Commission delegations outside of EU territory,” he said.

The civil servant, aged 46, works for the Commission services responsible for managing delegations’ infrastructure.

The second person charged, aged 60, is the personal assistant of an Italian member of the European Parliament and the third person, 39, runs a real estate consortium.

Let’s see how far the accusation goes. But there is something that intrigues me: why telling all those data about the accusated men and not telling their names?

UPDATE: Italian Newspaper Corriere della Sera reports that the accused Italians are Sergio Tricarico, that is the assistant to the European Parliamentary Gianni Rivera, Giancarlo Ciotti, the Commission civil servant and Angelo Troiiano, the businessman.

It also reports that the accusation was made after charges were presented against the three of them were by a Finnish businessmen, who claimed he had been obliged to give them 345 millions of € (and he had to give them more, till 600 millions of €). The Finnish was going to build a Commission delegation in India.

Neither the Commission nor the accused have made any comments.

h/t Le Guerre Civile.


Tres Italianos han sido acusados y detenidos en Bruselas como parte de un procedimiento de corrupción en relación a sitios que son entregados por la Comisión Europea. Incluyen un funcionario que trabaja para la Comisión, un asistente de un miembro del Parlamento Europeo y un empresario, según los fiscales de la UE.

Los tres hombres, que viven en Bélgica y cuyos nombres no han sido anunciados, han sido acusados de falsificación y de uso de documentos falsificados, corrupción, fraude y formación de una organización criminal, según el portavoz Jos Colpin.

“Hubo sobornos de millones de euros durante más de 10 años!, añadió Colpin.

Los sobornos se pagaron en relación a solares públicos para construir “delegaciones de la Comisión Europea fuera del territorio de la UE.

El funcionario, de 46 años, trabaja para los servicios de la Comisión responsables de la infraestructura de las delegaciones.

La segunda persona acusada, de 60 años es un asistente personal de un miembro italiano del Parlamento Europeo y la tercera persona, de 39 años, dirige un consorcio de promoción y venta de inmuebles.

ACTUALIZACIÓN: el Corriere della Sera ha dado los nombres de los acusados: Sergio Tricarico, asistente personal del Parlamentario Italiano Gianni Rivera, Giancarlo Ciotti, que es el funcionario de la Comisión, y Angelo Troiiano, el empresario.

También añade que fue un empresario finlandés el que presentó cargos contra ellos tres, porque ya había pagado 345 millones de euros (de un total de 600 millones) para construir una delegación de la UE en India.

Ni la Comisión ni los acusados han hecho comentario alguno.

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